Kasyo no Yume -- Toei
<The Dreams of Kasyo -- Prosperity in Winter>

Copyright Fuyumi Ono, Koudansya, 2001


= og Syusshi =


After Asen and others returned to the hotel, Seirai returned briefly, and left the bedroom again to prepare for tomorrow. Even till everyone had left, a thought still whirled around Taikifs head.

--Only if Tai were like this.
Only if Tai could be as affluent as Kyou or Han.
Only if Tai could be as mild in climate as Ren.

Ever since his visit to the Forbidden Gate with Gyousou, a cold lump formed in Taikifs chest. There were people who lived in such cold climate. According to the officials' reports, the people were not living well. Hearing that people were frozen to death and starved to death made Taiki feel colder and colder.

(Many people are troubled.)

In that brutally white scenary.

However, Taiki could not do a thing.

Taiki is a kirin (i). It was said that he is created by the heavens and granted to the people. He knows the heavenfs will, and obeys the heavenfs order. He is the child of Tentei, the representative of the heavens. However, Taiki possesses no power to save the people. He cannot change the climate, let alone create any miracles.

Kirins choose emperors -- but thatfs all of it. In this way, Gyousou was selected by Taiki to become the new emperor. That alone had used up all the miraculous power he had, Taiki felt.

(There is no power whatsoever left within him.)

There was nothing left that Taiki ought to do. In theory, Taiki should also have administrative work to do as Saiho (ɕ, official title for Taiho) and as a provincial lord. However, Taiki was not old enough to handle the jobs. In fact, all the real work was taken over by Seirai and Gyousou, and Taiki only needed to nod to whatever was told to him. Of course, everything that couldnft be solved just by explaining to Taiki would be shouldered by Seirai as extra work.

Taiki knew the great hopes that everyone heaped on him. Taiki could tell by Seirai, Asen and the other adultsf actions. Those wonderful adults treated Taiki, who was just a kid, with absolute respect. Seirai told Taiki that was the courtesy the adults showed to gthe one and only one.h

However, what is gthe one and only oneh thing within Taiki? Maybe it had existed once before. However, in the future, what if Gyousou lost his way like the previous emperor and abdicated? When a new emperor was needed, Taiki might not be gthe one and only oneh anymore. However, Taiki was now nothing but a kid who was about to turn eleven. There was nothing he could do, nothing he could understand. He was just a burden to the people around him.

That was where Taikifs uneasiness stemmed from.

He knew people were anticipating, but he didnft know what he should do. He could do nothing but watch. He couldnft but feel that he was either of no use or a nuisance to others.

Are you thinking of me as so? Isnft it normal that you think so? Seirai? -- Gyousou?


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